In my mind, there’s no way to separate movement from bike setup from riding skills. They all go hand in hand. Over the years, as I worked with thousands of mountain bikers of all levels, I started learning some deep unifying principles of movement, bike setup and riding skills. From these principles came the RideLogic™ bike setup methods and the RipRow™ of-bike trainer.
Justin VanAlstyne from spoketwist.com is an advanced rider. Here's what he says about RideLogic™ and RipRow™.
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I took a chance on a group skills class with Lee Likes Bikes after hearing about Kevin and Lee at my local shop. I'm not a biking newbie. I've been riding MTB for almost 20 years, off and on, and it was clear very early in that first class that Lee and his RideLogic™ philosophy are the real deal. I quickly signed up for a second class, and since then have done several one-on-one training and bike fit sessions with Kevin and Lee.
During one of the group sessions, I got an introduction to an early prototype of the RipRow™. It was significantly more crude back then, compared to the refined product it has morphed into. It didn't matter — I could tell after doing a dozen reps on that RipRow™ prototype that it was a revolutionary training device. It is literally the ONLY training device specific to mountain biking that I'm aware of.
On a more recent training and fit session for a new bike, Lee and I were working on lower back pain I was suffering from while riding. He had me jump on the latest iteration of the RipRow™. The original oversized elastic bands have been replaced by adjustable resistance hydraulic struts.
You watch Lee go through some demo reps, explain the motions to you, and you confidently think "I got this!" No. No you don't. The RipRow™ punishes your years of bad biking form and posture. It alls come out. Your hamstrings and core will scream for mercy after only a few slow "elliptical" full-body hip thrust and hinge reps with high resistance. Never mind a few dozen high-speed reps. Your mind struggles to keep your form perfect and all your appendages working in synchronous harmony.
Halfway through that first workout, an amazing thing happens. It clicks. You start to feel it and a smile steals the tired grimace from your face. You feel the motions, form, and beautiful flow of what Lee has patiently been trying to explain and demonstrate to me.
This is what it feels like to row and anti-row, to hip hinge with a tight core and get your entire body into a push-pull power motion. And you know what you're going to feel tomorrow? Soreness. The good kind, don't get me wrong, but my hamstrings were seriously sore for about 3 days afterward.
The RipRow™ definitely won that first round, but I did get something out of it. Getting on the bike after that RipRow™ session changed how I ride. The hip hinge and core tightness we tirelessly perfected on the RipRow™ translated immediately on the bike. I felt more comfortable and better able to use my body to control the bike, instead of the other way around. My debilitating lower back pain disappeared, which is really a side effect, with the primary benefit being to shred better, faster, and safer.
The RideLogic™ RAD bike fit philosophy has worked amazing well for me. So much has been ingrained in our minds over the years about riser bars, bar width, tiny short stems, high stack heights.
It's all very confusing to the laymen, and it shows on some people's bike cockpit setups. The RideLogic™ RAD fit system dovetails perfectly with the full-body power and alignment philosophy that Lee teaches in his riding skills courses and on the RipRow™.
The basic premise is that your body size and arm length dictate the handlebar position for maximizing power and movement on the bike. It doesn't matter if it's a DH or XC bike. In order to maximize power and movement, you have to throw out some of the archaic ruts like you need riser bars to get your body as far back as possible for serious descending.
Instead, Lee takes physical measurements of your bike and body and uses that to achieve the perfect fit. On one of my bikes, this meant shortening the stem and reversing my riser handlebar to get my hands and arms in that perfect power and reach position. Now I get funny looks sometimes, where "badass" riders are probably looking at my upside down handlebars with amusement and wonder, thinking I'm just an idiot.
Little do they know...